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Shirley Band celebrates 100 years of music making

Shirley Band from Solihull in the West Midlands has just celebrated 100 years of music making with a special centenary concert which featured an augmented band made up of current and former members.

Led by the band’s eminent Principal Conductor, David Hirst, the celebration concert saw former members and long-term friends of the band travel from across the UK, and from as far afield as Germany and Austria to attend the concert. The concert was also attended by two former conductors of the band, Dave Lea and Geoff Barber.

The concert featured a range of original works for brass band, as well as arrangements of classical and popular music. The programme included Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, Etienne Crausaz’s Balkan Dance, and Philip Harper’s Salsa Tres Prado’s From Beyond the Tamar. For the final three concert items, the band were joined by former members and the concert concluded with Howard Snell’s epic take on Ottorino Resphigi’s Pines of Rome.

Brian Johnson, Shirley Band secretary, said: “It was fabulous to have so many friends of the band attend the concert, and to have so many former members join us to celebrate our rich history. We’re now looking forward to marking the remainder of our milestone year with a series of other concerts and competitions.”

Shirley Band was formed in 1919 by W H Hodesdon Senior, the grandfather of the band's current President, Donald Hodesdon. The band plays at many concerts and events throughout the Midlands, but is particularly proud to continue to support the local community of Shirley, leading the hymns and playing Last Post and Reveille for the annual Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph at St James Church in Shirley, as well as putting on its own annual series of concerts.

Future events for the band include attending the annual Pershore Midsummer Brass held next month and a Last Night of the Proms concert in September.

The centenary concert was held on Saturday 11 May at Shirley Baptist Church in Shirley.